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Tsang and Garcia Break Season Best Scores In Double Dual

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By Anita Nham, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's gymnastics team finished off its Big Ten regular season home schedule on Saturday afternoon in a double-dual meeting with the men against Ohio State.

Despite a 195.950-195.850 setback against the No.18 Buckeyes, numerous Nittany Lions had stellar performances.

One Nittany Lion in particular that stood out was junior Briannah Tsang, who tied for first in the all-around with Ohio State's Alexis Mattern. With a score of 39.400, Tsang recorded her highest all-around of the season.

"It's really exciting," Tsang said. "I always love improving on my own gymnastics and I'm honored to win the Ann Carr award."

Prior to Saturday evening, her highest all-around score was 39.350 from the first meet of the season against Bowling Green, BYU and Temple, but that wasn't the only record broken during the meet. Tsang also logged her best score on floor exercise this season with a 9.900 to finish second on the event, which tied with sophomore Sabrina Garcia as the team's top score. 

Tsang also placed second on the uneven parallel bars and third on balance beam and vault. 

"Briannah was outstanding," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "Her landings on every event were great and we've been working really hard in the gym on her floor landings. She gets a little bit too excited at previous meets and had a couple problems with dialing down, but she looked calm, poised, and under controlled today, and it paid off. 39.400 in the all-around is a great score."

Another Nittany Lion with an amazing individual performance was Garcia. She finished third in the all-around with 39.325 after coming up first on balance beam (9.875), second on uneven parallel bars (9.900), fourth on floor (9.850) and ninth on vault (9.700). Garcia also earned first place on beam after marking her highest score of the season in that event. 

"I thought we showed a lot of heart and we fought until the end," Garcia said. "For me, I just build off every meet so far, stay calm and focus, and did what I do in practice." 

All of these accomplishments were achieved in front of a white-out crowd with over 2,200 fans.

"The girls love double dual meets," coach Thompson said. "The crowd was outstanding and super loud. The competition was great and we knew it was close. After every event, I told them, 'Just keep plugging away. We're going to come back. We're going to get this team. We're going to catch them.' It looked like that right up to the very last routine and unfortunately, we came up just a little bit short. The girls did a great job and they had a lot of fun doing it." 

Even though Penn State did not get the outcome that it was expecting, there is still a bright future for the team.

"Ohio State was ranked No.18 coming into the meet and we beat them on two events and tied them on bars," coach Thompson said. "We know we need to work on vault. We need to get some better vaults and some better vault landings, but once we do that, that makes us a top-15 team and the [gymnasts] understand that now. They have a lot of confidence moving forward. We'll head to Texas next week for a meet at Texas Women's University and we plan on improving on today's performance."

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